SEC with a European soccer twist: Who's getting relegated, promoted after 2017?
There are always proposals to shake up the SEC — move Auburn to the East, or add two more teams, or go to a round-robin schedule.
But we’re going one step further.
What if we REALLY shook up the SEC? We’re talking about going to a European soccer set-up here — relegation and promotion. Believe me, we’re the last people in the world you’d want trying to explain that alleged other kind of football, but the gist is this: The worst teams in the top league get knocked down a rung. The top teams in the second-best league get promoted.
What would that mean for SEC? Let’s see exactly how it would play out.
The second best league is …
One key to the process would be deciding which conference, exactly, is the second best league. (Obviously, the SEC is the top league.)
There are people who are sure the Big Ten is the second best conference in college football. We have many special names for those people, and can get them nice cozy cots in padded cells. A few years ago, the Big 12 seemed like a decent argument. And while they do produce a fair share of good teams every year, their last national champion was in 2005.
No, the second best league is the ACC. It produced two of the last four national champions, and while the dregs of the ACC are terrible, there’s always a couple of great teams in there. That’ll change, of course, once we start looting it for promotions.
For our purposes, let’s say the bottom two teams of the SEC get relegated to the ACC. Who is that going to be after the 2017 season? Well, first, the divisions are irrelevant, and second, only league games matter. Playing Cal Polytechnic Institute for the Blind might keep the alumni happy, but you could still wind up in the MAC in Euro College Football.
The league’s SIDs considered this issue preseason, and they chose Vanderbilt and Missouri as the two bottom teams in the league. But that was before Hugh Freeze got canned. We’re going with Missouri and Ole Miss to “earn” their way down to the ACC. Better luck next year.
Moving on up
And who can the SEC poach to replace the Rebels and Tigers?
Well, Florida State looks like a given. They’re the most talented team in the ACC, and if they don’t end up in the league’s top two teams, it would be a monumental surprise. So sorry to the Gators, but the Seminoles will be getting the call to the big leagues.
Who gets the second promotion spot?
Well, that is tougher. Lamar Jackson would make Louisville viable, but hey, this is the same Louisville team that lost to LSU and Kentucky last year, so that’s not going to help them out any. Miami is viable under Mark Richt. Not to mention, it would be incredibly fun to plug Richt back into the SEC and see how he would fare. But they’re probably a year away. Ditto Virginia Tech, which is moving in the right direction under Justin Fuente.
No, the second ACC team probably is going to be Clemson. Sure, they lost Deshaun Watson, but if winning the championship doesn’t give you the momentum to earn that second promotion spot, what would?
How would it look?
Suddenly, the SEC East gets a whole lot better. Yes, Vanderbilt (as the western most team in the East) moves across to the West, but if that doesn’t look like a fun SEC 2018 set-up, what would? The 2018 season would probably see Vandy and Kentucky on the relegation track, with Miami and Va. Tech as favorites to move up to the SEC.
Crazy? Sure. Crazy like a fox. Well, a European fox.